30
Jul
08

On air: Is there ever an excuse for murder?

Peter Dobbie writing this today — Ros is now off for a bit, so it’s me Madeleine or Tom-tom sitting in the studio for a few weeks.

Today we’re picking up with an item which got a lot of our bloggers (or should that be bloggees ?) very active.

Is there ever an excuse for murder ?

Now we “um’d” and “er’d” about this, this morning in the meeting. We thought about “is murder ever ok?”, we thought about “can murder ever be justifed?” but we settled for that key question: “is there ever an excuse for murder ?”. I daresay we will fine-tune the language once we’re on air but at the moment I bet you a lawyer, or (key thing here) a jury would need a very accurate forms of words.

Anyway, I’m rambling. The reason we’re asking this is the news in the last 24 hours here in the UK saying that proposed reforms of the law on homicide could change the way a murder charge is reduced to manslaughter. They would see the partial defence of provocation scrapped and replaced with two new ones. These would be if someone killed over fears about serious violence, or if they could show they were “seriously wronged” by the victim’s actions. But, does that come down to an excuse ?

The Law Commission rejected any idea of going with First Degree Murder or Second Degree Murder as they have in the US. Is that however a simpler option: more clear-cut ?

The government line here is that this actually raises the bar when it comes to the level of scrutiny an alleged murderer will experience when he/she goes to court. Our bloggees cut to the chase straight away – with “nelsoni” saying:

“some of these people responsible for drafting these laws operate with reverse reasoning. This is nothing more than slap on the wrist for domestic murder making it more attractive with little consequences”

And Robert added:

“I can understand killing in anger and accept dispensation in sentencing because of it, but killing in fear is an alien concept to me. If the death occurs during a fight then surely it is killing in anger which the minister says the current law already caters for. If it doesn’t occur in a fight then surely that is a premeditated offense of some sort?”

What do you think ? Is it ever ok to take another life ? Apart from the obvious pacifist overtones, what about looking after yourself and fighting off a mugger who dies as a result of something YOU did ? What about a crime of passion – where a wronged lover goes too far ? What about an Honour Killing — where, there’s (and have we got the logic of the murderer right here) a greater good being served, by the loss of one life ?

Please blog your thoughts or drop us an e-mail and join in the debate later – 1700 GMT.

Later, Peter :o)

Ooops, almost forgot: Everyone’s very happy with the way the blog-moderating is going, but we’d like to throw the net ever wider, so if you’d like to have a go, please get in touch. Best way is to initially drop Chloe a line via e-mail chloe.tilley@bbc.co.uk, or me and I’ll pass on your requests. Pip pip.

Later, Peter :o)


177 Responses to “On air: Is there ever an excuse for murder?”


  1. 1 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 15:27

    In terms of the proposed changes to the UK murder laws (this is based on the article that Steve posted last night on the Talking Points page) – fear should never be an excuse for taking a human life. There are other actions that can be taken, like going to the police for example. The job of police systems is to make people feel protected and to keep them safe. So killing out of fear is never justified because these other resources are available. I’d like to make the distinction that killing accidentally out of self-defense is very different than killing someone because you fear for your safety or someone “seriously wronged” you. I agree with the statement Robert made that an act like this is surely premeditated.

  2. 2 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 15:31

    In reference to the change in murder laws in the UK – killing out of fear should never be a reason to justify murder. If someone is afraid for their safety, they have other options than to kill someone, they could go to the police. The purpose of a policing system is to protect citizens and make them feel safe. With these resources available, saying that someone is afraid and therefore “had no choice” is no excuse. I’d like to make the distinction that killing someone accidentally out of self defense is very different than killing someone because you are afraid or feel “seriously wronged” by a person. I tend to agree with Robert that this second instance must be premeditated.

  3. 3 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 15:33

    You should change it to “homicide” not murder. Murder is a specific legal term, and killing someone is not necessarily murder, even if done intentionally. we have things such as manslaughter, negligent homicide, etc. The story in question was about reducing a murder charge to manslaughter, as a defense to a murder charge. If in fact convicted of manslaughter, they didn’t “murder” anyone. Kind of like when someone breaks into your home, you will them. Any possible murder charge you might face could be countered with self defense, which is a defense to a murder charge.

    The real issue is given chances to call the police, or leave an abusive relationship, will this proposal encourage the killing of one’s spouse rather than leaving a relationship or calling law enforcement?

  4. 4 1430a
    July 30, 2008 at 15:34

    Hello Everyone,

    Very Funny topic.Well for me an excuse for murder might be ………… nothing.How can you find an excuse for Murdering a person?Unless it is an accident, any type of Murder has no exccuse.
    well I would obviously not say that an act of self defese is murder because here we are trying to protect ourselves and no harm is intended unless the person crosses the limit.

  5. 5 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 15:35

    I do not believe there is ever an excuse for murder, except with capital punishment or for self defense. There are times when one may be in a situation where the person may kill you, so you may in turn shoot them. However, those situations depend on the circumstances.

    In my opinion, killing for family honor is despictable. I would never think of doing anything to hurt my own flesh and blood. I realize different cultures have different opinions but I can’t understand how one could rationalize family embarrassment and then kill the family member. I love my family unconditionally.

  6. 6 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 15:37

    @Steve

    That is an interesting point. I would not have even thought that one may choose to kill the spouse than to try to leave the situation.

  7. July 30, 2008 at 15:41

    …. hhhmm…
    When it is your life at stake and there is absolutely no other way to defend yourself or remove yourself from that situation, it could be deemed acceptable.

    Most of the other excuses thrown around society are pathetic. As Angela noted, “honor” killings are a primary example of what comes to mind. Or the simple fact that someone upset you, killings such as these show a lack of self control and a disregard for life and other people.

  8. 8 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 15:47

    Murder is NEVER ok. Killing on the other hand can be OK depending on the circumstance. If someone enters your house to rob you, I think it’s fine to kill the thief in any way possible, since you don’t know his true intentions, or if he’s even on drugs.

    I believe serial killers and murders should also be put to death, and I would be happy to kill any other these types on death row, since life in prison is such a waste of resources.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  9. 9 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Angela

    That will be the consequence of the law change, that women will start killing their husbands rather than leave abusive relationships, and serve a couple years, if that, for manslaughter, rather than encouraging the intelligent thing, which is to leave an abusive relationship.

    Remember, murder typicall involves premeditation, a cold heart, etc. If abuse has been going on for years and years, you had plenty of time for the “passion” to calm down and leave, raather than kill. It’s like with the extreme emotional distress defense to murder that typical occurs when you walk in on your wife cheating on you. If you had a loaded gun in the drawer and immediately took it out and shot her, you would likely have a manslaughter conviction. However if the gun was in the basement, and you left the room, went down to the basement, the law will typicall say you had enough time to cool down and if you still kill, it would be murder.

  10. 10 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 15:57

    My uncle described the laws in North Carolina, regarding self defense. I am not stating this as anything legal, all hearsay. He stated that you have to keep the weapon unloaded and if an intruder comes in you have to ask the person to leave three times before shooting. But if you do all of that the person could have killed you while you were trying to load the gun and ask them to leave.

  11. 11 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 16:00

    @ Steve,
    You raised an excellent point when you said:

    “The real issue is given chances to call the police, or leave an abusive relationship, will this proposal encourage the killing of one’s spouse rather than leaving a relationship or calling law enforcement?”

    In that circumstance, I do not think any leniency should be given for someone who takes another’s life. Someone who kills instead of seeking other resources put in place to help them should be given no exceptions.

  12. 12 sammy
    July 30, 2008 at 16:09

    i dont think murder is a good thing at all but in some cases it can be justified especially when the motive is self defence. i dont think you can develop second thoughts about anyone who has intentions of taking taking your life. it once happened to me when i met thugs on my way home and without asking me for anything they wanted, they just pounced on me and started roughing me up. i hit one of them on the forehead with a big stone and he fell down unconscious and at that point i couldn’t care less what happened to him because he certainly didn’t do so before he and his friend attacked me.

  13. 13 Andre
    July 30, 2008 at 16:14

    First of all, as Steve has correctly pointed out there is a difference between the meaning of the word “murder” (which is always illegal), and the meaning of the word “homicide”. Essentially, murder is always a crime that includes the unlawful killing of another person or persons. Homicide, on the other hand, can be lawful or unlawful, depending on the circumstances.

    Examples of legal (justified), homicide include self defense of oneself or others; the killing by soldiers of enemy combatants in war; the killing by the police of violent criminals who pose an immediate threat to the lives of other people. In addition, justifiable homicide includes the execution of criminals found guilty of capital offences under the law of a state or nation with the death penalty.

    “Self defense” should be interpreted as a term that means – “if the victim does nothing at a particular point in time; one or more innocent people, perhaps including the victim, could be murdered”.

    However, in cases in which a spouse or a child is beaten, tortured, starved or illtreated for a significant period of time, there is a possibility of excusable homicide.

    Excusable homicide is usually linked to a long period of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse in a family setting. For example, such a case could occur if, say, a husband or boyfriend continually beats,tortures and/or rapes his partner; and also takes steps to ensure that the partner cannot leave or communicate with the outside world.

    In such a case, if the abused person has a chance to escape that involves killing the abuser (perhaps killing them in their sleep or while their back is turned), it is possible, depending on the exact circumstances, that a court may find the homicide excusable.

    Unlike justified homicide, excusable homicide is illegal but, the court may impose a very light sentence because of the prior abuse

    On the other hand, murder is the intentional termination of the life of one or more people in a way not officially sanctioned in law. Examples of murder killing in the course of a criminal act; killing for personal gain or psychological or sexual satisfaction; killing for family honour or assasination or terrorism – a deliberate attack with intent to kill on one or more people.

    Now that we have our definitions – it is possible to answer your question. Murder; the unsanctioned, illegal killing of another person or persons, if never justified and should never be tolerated. However, the killing of people under circumstances of justified or excusable homicide, need to be examined by a court to ensure that they really fit into the “justified” or “excusable” classifications.

    Final point – every time an American policeman kills someone, there is a review to ensure that the killing was justified. I think that should (and probably is), standard practice among all democratic countries.

  14. July 30, 2008 at 16:18

    Self-defence is a right that everyone should enjoy. Paralysing an attacker isn’t the same as killing him/her. Some resort to murder when there is just the choice of killing or being killed. However, there is no excuse to kill a person with intent. This amounts to taking the law in one’s hand.

    When the law is strong and society is nurtured with the principle of respecting life, the chances of murder become extremely rare. There are two countries that are in sharp contrast: Japan and South Africa. In Japan, there is one of the biggest rates of suicide but there are very rare cases of murder. In South Africa, it is estimated that about 30,000 are killed every year. So the more murders there are, the more desire for revenge. It’s a vicious circle.

    When the law and justice are well carried out, people can feel safe and the risk of killing or being killed will be very minimum.

  15. 15 Robert
    July 30, 2008 at 16:23

    The is never an excuse for causing the death, but some situations are at least understandable (deep anger in the heat of the moment being one). But it is still not an excuse and people should still have to account for thier actions and pay the price which their society asks within the specific contexts of the death.

  16. 16 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 16:24

    I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not too familiar with the legal system. But I do have a few questions.

    In order to be found guilty, the prosecution has to prove both guilty act and guilty intent; mens rea and actus reus. Will changing the law like this make it more difficult to prove or disprove one of those?

    And doesn’t killing in the name of anger/passion/fear fall under the umbrella of ‘temporary insanity’?

  17. 17 steve b - uk
    July 30, 2008 at 16:28

    is killing Lord Voldemort OK?

  18. 18 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 16:36

    @Shaun

    I have always questioned temporary insanity. That is the only defense that always scares me because many people can become temporarily insane to try to get off the hook.

  19. 19 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 16:43

    Angela brought up what I thought was an interesting point regarding capital punishment. The assumption being that it is only acceptable to kill someone for what they did as long as they are legally sanctioned by the government. It would not be acceptable for a villagente to go around killing murders and other societal scum but it is acceptable for the government to do the same thing to inmates. Does the horse and pony show of having a trial change the morality of the act? Why is government sanctioned murder more morally acceptable than personal revenge?

  20. 20 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 16:48

    @ Shaun
    You’re forgetting four very important words: “beyond a reasonable doubt”. I am no lawyer, but I wonder how this burden of proof would be affected should the murder laws change as has been suggested. I also have a question that just came to mind with your mention of temporary insanity.

    I ask simply because I don’t know:
    Is temporary insanity awarded on a case-by-case basis? Or do the courts use precedents set by previous cases. It would seem to me that a plea of temporary insanity would be common among those accused of murder. But I would hope that these pleas would be considered case-by-case rather than on precedents to ensure that a ‘temporary insanity’ plea is thoroughly justified.

  21. 21 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 16:48

    There’s a huge difference between “temporary insanity” or insanity defense in general vs things like the proposal here. Insanity defense, if successful, means the person was basically so out of it, they shouldn’t be criminally liable for their action. Here, the situation is of basically a mitigating factor that is supposed to relieve someone of a more serious criminal conviction, but will still get a criminal penalty. So in this case, the prosecution will seek murder, the wife/widow will utilize this defense to get only a manslaughter conviction instead of murder. she would still got to jail, just for not as long. However, do we want this to be allowed, given opportunities to leave the relationship or call the police, and chosing to kill instead? That’s something I don’t think society should allow to be a factor in reducing murder to manslaughter.

  22. 22 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 16:51

    @ Melanie, criminal cases are always case by case. The legal standard, will come from prior precedent or by statute. There’s no “temporary insanity” defense that is undefined. It would have a definition and it either comes from statute, or from prior caselaw, and like in every case, the facts are applied to the law. The fact finder will have to determine whether the facts presented constitute “temporary insanity” just like they would have to determine if the killing of a husband was done out of “fear” by an abused wife. They trier of fact doesn’t have to accept these defeneses, and if not, the defendant will be convicted of murder.

  23. 23 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 16:53

    @ chicago

    A jury is making a decision with clear heads, looking at the situation outside of the box. The other would be clouded by emotions. Thus, the first one is fair.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  24. 24 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 16:59

    @Chicago

    Do you not believe there are situations when capital punishment is reasonable. Granted it costs less money than having the person in prison for the rest of their lives, especially for violent offenders. Like the case Steve brought up the other day, regarding the former soldier who raped and killed those people in I think Fort Bragg. Bush approved the execution of the prisoner. Personally, I think there is something fishy about NC and the soldiers there. They have so many cases of soldiers going on a rampage.

  25. 25 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 17:03

    @ Steve,

    Thank-you very much for your explanation. I agree with your previous point as well. Concessions should not be made for instances of killing when other options were available.

  26. 26 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 17:05

    @ Anthony

    So in your estimation, if I understand correctly, it is ok to kill someone as long as the choice is made by twelve random invidiuals who know nothing about the situation outside of what the opposing counsels are telling them and spinning them.

    What about a vilgilante who has a clear head and is unclouded by personal emotions? Does that make it more acceptable?

  27. 27 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 17:06

    @ Melanie

    Even in cases of self defense, there normally is a duty to flee before you can use deadly force in self defense, though typically you don’t have to do this if at home. But you still have to be facing deadly force to use deadly force against you. If you wer ejust getting slapped around by someone, you couldn’t use deadly force. It has to be proportionate to the force being used against you.

  28. 28 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 17:07

    @ Angela

    Do I believe it is reasonable to kill people in certain situations? Yes.
    Do I believe that the government should be the only force that is allowed to make those decisions and have that kind of power? No.

  29. 29 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 17:08

    Ok, this is a little theatrical, but what if….. There is a gang banger slingin’ crack rock in your neighborhood. He is recruiting little kids and doing drive by shootings all over the place. You know he is completely killing the neighborhood and you’ve called the police several times, but they have either been unable to pin anything on him, or he is bribing them on the side. Is it ok to kill this dealer for the well-being of the children in your neighborhood? I’ve seen the corruption of Chicago police officers first hand, and I know this could happen. Call me a vigilante, but I think I’d kill the guy.

  30. 30 nelsoni
    July 30, 2008 at 17:08

    Taking another person’s life under what ever legal name is not acceptable. Every human has an inalienable right to life No one has the right to take it under any guise.

  31. 31 Paul, Liberia
    July 30, 2008 at 17:09

    Taking anyone’s life is wrong, but it depends on “the situation too”

  32. 32 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 17:09

    The first response is: there is NO excuse for murder…

    But then one thinks of spouses and children who have been abused and the authorities can do nothing to protect them and… Should they suffer the tyranny of another forever?

    Then there is self-defense and… why shouldn’t one use any and every means to protect one’s self?

    If one kills out of fear and/or anger, there is less to think about because some people fear when there is no need to fear and become angry when there is no need for anger.

    My conclusion: on the whole, each case of murder is different and should be viewed as such.

  33. 33 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 17:13

    @Chicago

    Who else should be allowed to kill, then?

  34. 34 Count Iblis
    July 30, 2008 at 17:13

    I think in Britain there is a mandatory life in prison sentence for murder. Because this punishment is seen as unjust for some cases, it has been proposed that these cases should be considered to be manslaughter.

    Perhaps it is better to get rid of mandatory sentences and let a judge decide on appropriate punishment.

  35. 35 Ashi in New Jersey
    July 30, 2008 at 17:25

    Murder or homicide is never ok in any circumstances. The only instance i can see taking of a life being ok is for medical reasons, or for self defense. There is no intent here for harming another. The only intent would be to save a life.

  36. 36 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 17:27

    Any ideas how this will effect killings due to blood feuds? I have heard that this is especially prevalent in muslim cultures where family honor is key, and I’m wondering if this will open the door for retribution killing.

  37. 37 Venessa
    July 30, 2008 at 17:31

    Absolutely there is no excuse for murder which is defined with “malice aforethought.” There can be an justification for homicide. I agree self defense is a justifiable reason only if other means of protection or escape have failed.

  38. 38 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 17:32

    @ Count Iblis

    I don’t think we should do away with mandatory sentences. From my understanding (and the only law class I’ve ever taken), the ‘mandatory’ sentences are really only ‘suggested’ sentences. These are general guidelines meant to mitigate the personal biases in judges. What if a judge’s relative started smoking pot and – because it’s SUCH a gateway drug – upgraded to crack which eventually killed him? Maybe he has a huge bias against pot smokers and sees them all as hard-bitten criminal scum and they should serve the maximum sentence reserved for traffickers or something like that. I’d rather know there is some limit to the sentence the judge would impose. Especially if I’m an otherwise productive member of society with no priors.

  39. 39 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 17:33

    @ Nick in USA

    So a bunch of Christian’s from the West are turning your country from a perfect, beautiful, God-oriented Muslim state, into a land of debauchery sending so many of your people to burn eternally in hell, so what do you do? Blow up a few buildings, and start killing people until they stop, right?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  40. 40 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 17:33

    @ Angela

    Ah, you’re mistaken that anyone should be ALLOWED to kill someone. I didn’t say we should allow anyone to kill someone. The question is “Is there ever an excuse for murder”. The capital punishment supporting government are using their authority as a governing body as an excuse to murder someone (murder being defined as a pre-meditated intent to end someone else’s life). They also decide what excuses are acceptable (temporary insanity, self defense, ect) for a defendant to have killed someone – laws and precidents! I do not support any government making the choice of who decides who lives and who dies regardless of the reason

  41. 41 Venessa
    July 30, 2008 at 17:34

    @Count Iblis

    I agree with you that mandatory sentences do not always fit the crime. Every situation is unique and needs to be addressed case by case.

  42. July 30, 2008 at 17:37

    Hi… ”The right to live” is the most sacred right on this earth, and everything done to preserve that right is totally justifiable… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  43. 43 archibald in oregon
    July 30, 2008 at 17:39

    It is too easy to kill people already and get away with it. Why not just lift the ban and allow full on slaughter. It is already sanctioned in most countries under the guise of peacekeeping, national security and defense. Those whose hands remain clean as they order others to kill are the ones who perpetuate the global idea that murder is a viable solution when we have exhausted all options.
    Once again WHYS has proposed a question that deserves discussion, as a society, but warrants not even a second of time from a human perspective, all countries and rationalizations aside.
    In my humble opinion humans are not evolved enough to judge, even though many think otherwise. We feel what is right, long before we even have to think. Murder is a choice like any other, if you can live with it, make your choice. I wager that if you have to think about it, you have already eliminated killing as an option. The act of thinking is evolution.
    once again, naively yours, archy

  44. 44 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    July 30, 2008 at 17:45

    @ Nelsoni

    I Thank you for our addition here. I agree with you. If all people believed this way there would be not need for this question. However, if a person is pointing a gun at me and I have no way out and my only defense is my gun, I will defend myself. The problem is with this issues is there are people out in the world who have no respect for their lives and will take lives of others.

  45. 45 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 17:45

    @ Anthony

    No, I wouldn’t blow up buildings or kill people at random, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to kill the people that I had seen doing terrible things, if my government had proven unable to take care of them for me.

  46. 46 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 17:48

    @Archy

    Well said!

  47. 47 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 17:54

    @Angela

    Capital punishment is another issue for me.

    There is never an excuse for capital punishment!

    At least in cases of killing in self-defense or killing an abuser who cannot be controlled by authorities, one can see why a killing occurred. Capital punishment is revenge, nothing more!

    If it is OK to kill one human, then it is alright to kill all humans, in my view.

  48. 48 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 17:56

    I have a question for the Atheists’ here:

    Isn’t it evolutionarily good to murder? It’s just survival of the fittest right? If you murder someone and take all their money, you’re just bettering you and your family right? So what’s REALLY the big deal? You’re just eliminating competition by murdering other men, right?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  49. 49 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 17:57

    I’m going to play some devil’s advocate here, and I hope people respond proving me wrong.

    I think a large portion of us will agree that the world would be a Better Place if these people weren’t in it.

    Robert Mugabe
    Osama bin-Laden
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    Kim Jong-Il
    Omar al-Bashir
    The Taliban
    G.W. Bush
    Dick Cheney
    Radovan Karadzic

    To name a few. So in light of everything these men have either done or presided over, if they ended up dead tomorrow would anybody mind? If killing these men saved thousands (and in many cases, millions) of people from suffering/death is it justifiable?

  50. 50 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 17:57

    Well said Selena:

    Capital punishment is simply the appeasement of the victim or their loved ones.

  51. 51 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Anthony

    No, it would not be “evolutionarily good to murder”. The reason human beings have been successful is because of our ability to build civilized societies. Without groups of people sharing with and helping eachother, we would all still be cavemen with sticks and stones.

  52. 52 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:01

    @Anthony

    I don’t know if there are any Atheists here but wherever did you get an idea like that?

    Do Atheists believe in survival of the fittest? That is more of a religious idea, isn’t it?

  53. 53 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 18:02

    @ Shaun in Halifax

    That’s a tough call. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’d be saving lives by killing these people because you don’t know who is next in line. The next guy might be worse.

  54. 54 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:04

    @ selena

    Religious? No, since in most religions everyone is supposed to help everyone else. It’s refering to Natural Selection, from Darwin, AKA Evolutionary Theory.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  55. 55 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 18:05

    @Chicago and Selena

    I respectfully disagree. I feel there are times when capital punishment is fully acceptable. For cases when the crime is heineous, capital punishment is an acceptable choice. Not to appease the family but because it saves the gov’t money. Why should the taxpayers pay to provide for prisoners that have already took the law into their own hands, dealing with violent offenders. Many people are in prison for non-violent crimes but the truly violent criminals should just be executed. It would save a lot of money.

  56. 56 Jens
    July 30, 2008 at 18:07

    Anthony,

    that is a lame argument. why should an atheist, just by not believing in a fictonal god, become a murderouse SOB running around randomly killing? there is something called working for the benefit of the group and atheists probably believe a lot more in the groupe since our survival depends on others and not some lame believe in a non-existing deity.

    just think how many people have been killed and MURDERED under the cover of religion. i bet ya many more millions compared to us peaceful atheists. so why is it OK for christians to wage war in the name of god or start premptive strikes etc….. explain that one to me.

  57. 57 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:07

    @ NICK and selena

    No, it’s not “simply the appeasement of the victim or their loved ones”, it’s taking care of a problem, like killing cancer, so other parts don’t get infected. They SHOULD be killed, other wise it’s a waste of money, and that mentality will be spread even more.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  58. 58 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:09

    @ Shaun,

    To answer your question simply: No. And this is my own personal opinion and belief. An eye for an eye is not the way to play. Two wrongs (or several) do not make a right. Killing someone as revenge for killing someone else does not solve anything. It will not bring dead people back to life. It lowers people killing for revenge to the same level as those who killed (or indirectly caused the death of others). Besides, if we’re talking about revenge or appeasement for someone who has suffered a loss, aren’t there fates worse than death for the accused?

  59. 59 Devra Lawrence
    July 30, 2008 at 18:09

    Exodus 20:13 THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!!

    God did not have any ‘special cases’ where murder was acceptable. I don’t think it is.

  60. 60 jade
    July 30, 2008 at 18:10

    Question is: does that person deserve to die? If yes, it’s killing for the larger good. If not, it’s murder.

  61. 61 Jens
    July 30, 2008 at 18:11

    selena,

    survival of the fittest is not a religiouse idea, remember charles darwin……..

    the entire idea of the survival of the fittest is based on genetics and traits and not on murdering your competion. some on this board should read darwins book or maybe even try richard dawkins “the god delusion”. it is a good thing to broaden your horizons and read past the indoctrination one has recieve as a kid.

  62. 62 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:12

    The south African said she and her kids were abused by her husband for years. Wouldn’t one episode have been enough to make a reasonable person leave that situation, let alone stick around for years and years? She sounds like an adult, and wouldn’t an adult make a an intelligent decision to leave, to protect herself and her kids from abuse?

    She even admits she wished she left. She lives in total fear. Where does she go? Anywhere! S.A. is a large country, he wouldn’t have to know where you went. STop making excuses. You are an ADULT. You leave abusive situations if you want people to treat you like an adult.

  63. 63 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:14

    @ NICK

    Tell that to the U.S. Government for the last few decades. Without the murdering of our governemnt and army, you wouldn’t be living as comfortable as you are today.

    If I kill my neighbor, take $200,000.00 cash from his safe, and don’t get caught, I’m better off right? Like a lion killing another lion for land and lionesses 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  64. 64 Jens
    July 30, 2008 at 18:16

    Exodus 20:13 THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!!

    tell that one to all the victims of christian violence and murder. just think spanish inquision, crusades, witch hunts etc

  65. 65 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Jens

    No silly. Strategic killing in order to gain and not get caught. What’s wrong with that? I gain, I’m better off, and no one gets in trouble, and life goes on. My family is fine, the murdered persons family besomes depressed, not-productive, and there for my offspring are better of since less competition.

    Seriously, whats wrong with that? I’d really like to know.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. 66 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:18

    Can you imagine the injustice though, if a woman who kills her husband can get only manslaughter, while in a felony-murder jurisdiction, if you rob a bank, and the bank teller has a heart attack, you will get convicted of murder, whereas someone who actually intended to kill (the wife) will only serve a couple years.

  67. 67 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 18:18

    @ Devra

    exodus 21:23-25

    If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

  68. 68 Kiva in Portland
    July 30, 2008 at 18:18

    These men are getting what they deserve. I am sick of this atmosphere of a lack of accountability. A man that will torture these women and children day after day deserves what he gets, which is sometimes death.

  69. 69 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 18:19

    @Steve

    Women in other countries do not have the same benefits as women in the US. Plus, some men have a mental control that causes the women to stay and live in fear because they don’t know what will happen to their families.

  70. 70 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:20

    @Angela

    Even with heinous crimes the person who has committed the crimes are human beings.

    Saving the government money seems a strange argument for taking a life.

    I won’t even add that many people convicted of violent crimes are, in fact, innocent because that is not central to my belief.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/29/dallas.da.ap/index.html

    For me, lack of compassion is the cause of all the misery in the world. Capital punishment ensures that the cycle continues. We really need to address the root causes of violence.

  71. 71 Andrew
    July 30, 2008 at 18:21

    Sometimes murder is excusable. I am talking from the point of view of being in fear of your own life and not just in settling grievances. If you are in such a situation where the rules of polite society are out and there is a direct threat to your life, to act would mean you are fatally injured, then you must defend yourself and if deadly force is what you have to do then that is how you must act.

    I can think of many examples, but taking just one if intruders have taken your family hostage and harming your children and you had the chance to kill the intruder would you do that or simply hope he leaves and is caught once you contact the police after the event? That almost seems ridiculous reading it over now. If you had weapon to hand, you would protect your family and not hope for the best, a criminal certainly doesn’t play by any rules and if they are out to kill you you must respond.

    But then what of this situation. If you come across someone brutally raping a young person and you are alone with no means of contacting help (police) and you had a weapon to hand. Would you just ask them to stop? Would you do nothing and leave? Or would you act? That is a question that would be good to pose to any guest/poster who suggests a definitely not position.

  72. 72 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:21

    @ Steve

    I agree with your post about the South African woman. But for the sake of debate, suppose you take the exact situation but put it in the context where women are considered second class citizens, or barely citizens at all. I read a book called Infidel that described certain parts of Somalia to be that way. If the woman in that situation has been brought up to feel like she has no power (because she is female) does this change the situation at all? Should it?

  73. 73 Vijay Srao
    July 30, 2008 at 18:22

    IS THERE EVER AN EXCUSE FOR MURDER?
    There is always an excuse for murder,always some kind of reason.
    Whether a killing was justified is a slightly different question.
    My father ,Umarao Singh Srao ,while visiting India was murdered by his younger brother,nephew and a friend of the nephew.My Uncle confessed(boasted) and also told me to leave India “go back to you country” otherwise my mother and myself would also be murdered.
    I guess the reason was they wanted his land,bank account, house and car
    .

  74. 74 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:22

    @Jens

    You missed my irony. 🙂

  75. 75 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:23

    @Steve

    Nicole Simpson left O.J. !

    You have a simplistic view of domestic violence.

  76. 76 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 18:24

    Angela- you are directly advocating the killing of someone to save money (though of course it’s because they comitted what you and a jury of ‘peers’ deem to be henious)

    Anthony, the Theory of Evolution is accepted by many many more people than just Atheists and I find your comment to be highly offensive. If however you’re question was supposed to be about the moral difficulties of killing someone within a religious context that is different. The Atheist has no religious obligation not to kill, just a humanitarian one.

  77. 77 Anne, Canada
    July 30, 2008 at 18:25

    To you sitting in London who suggested that Charlotte in South Africa should have gone to the police: You know nothing about South Africa and the police. They are useless and do sweet blow all. Why do you think there is so much crime over there. I am an ex South African and I know. I suggest you go to South Africa and stay there and see for yourself. I can totally understand why she never went to the police, because the don’t care. That’s the reality of the new South Africa.

    Also, to the lawyer in the US. You are a man and can defend yourself. You put yourself in a women’s shoes you is petrified of her husband who constantly beats her up and has no where to go. Don’t sit there and critisize her actions.

  78. 78 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:26

    @ Selena

    (1) OJ Was found not guilty in a court of law for her murder

    (2) If it was OJ that in fact killed her, she would be completeley justified in using deadly force to defend herself, and woul dhave faced no criminal responsibility

    Selena, what would you say to OJ’s current girlfriend?

  79. 79 Dave
    July 30, 2008 at 18:27

    I’ve been assaulted by an ex partner and her current boyfriend, who later cliamed that I was abusive to her while we were dating (which was definitely not the case). We broke up because she had a few screws loose, but in a system that was already tilted in the favour of believing the woman in these situations, I’d hate to think what would happen if she felt justified to kill me. I had a terrible time trying to get anybody to believe me, and obviously had no hard evidence that the abuse didn’t take place (aside from proof that she always travelled across town to see me at the time). If she’d killed me, I’m positive that the police would have sided with her side of the story.

    I was beaten by two people with an iron bar, and I couldn’t press charges because there were no witnesses and the two people involved claimed that I threw a punch, and that they were defending themselves. It didn’t matter that they’d travelled across town with the iron bar.

    You can’t put the responsibility of killing in any individual’s hands, especially when emotion is involved.

  80. July 30, 2008 at 18:29

    Here is a poem by Robert Frost : “Fire and Ice“, which sums up the drive to kill, namely hate which can be the cause of fatal revenge.

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

  81. 81 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Jens & Chicago & everyone

    A simple question:

    “Strategic killing in order to gain and not get caught. What’s wrong with that? I gain, I’m better off, and no one gets in trouble, and life goes on. My family is fine, the murdered persons family besomes depressed, not-productive, and there for my offspring are better of since less competition.”

    Seriously, without saying “because thats wrong” or “well, I don’t need God not to kill”, a REAL reason why that is wrong.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  82. 82 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:30

    @Steve

    Current girlfriend? As you said, O.J. was found not guilty.

    Your view is still simplistic! It is not always possible to escape the clutches of an abusive spouse. A determined spouse will travel the ends of the earth and play an efficient waiting game in order to exert control.

  83. 83 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 18:31

    @ Shaun- Don’t most traditional readings of that passage in context indicate that it is advocating a proportionate retaliation. Thus, if an eye is lost then no more than an eye shall be taken.

  84. 84 tso
    July 30, 2008 at 18:33

    why not address the issues that make people snuff life out of others.

    ending some one life under guise is just not acceptable. No excuse is tenable.

    ;(

  85. 85 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:35

    @ Selena

    OJ didn’t have to travel all ends of the earth to find Nicole. I don’t even think she left town. Perhaps if she moved to Idaho… My point being, rather than kill an abuser, move away, far away.

  86. 86 Serina in Singapore
    July 30, 2008 at 18:35

    Revenge killing is different to protecting yourself. If there is an immediate threat and you react to protect yourself at the time it is understandable and justifiable. But as with Charlotte, revenge is no justification as that is what it was. Revenge is premeditated murder pure and simple.

  87. 87 Keith
    July 30, 2008 at 18:35

    murder would only be acceptable if it was against an attacker, and was absolutely necessary to protect a family member’s or one’s own life.

  88. 88 Skip, California
    July 30, 2008 at 18:36

    As you so often do on this program, you are asking a question that you very well know makes no sense.

    Your British lawyer guest has already explained this to you. If there is an excuse, it is not murder.

    Stop phrasing the question in this way!

    Whether there is ever an excuse for killing and, if so, what that excuse might be, is a perfectly legitimate question. Why not ask it? Any honest journalist would.

  89. 89 Chicago
    July 30, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Anthony

    I don’t know what you mean by a REAL reason but from what it sounds like on this blog if you break into your neighbor’s house to steal his $200,000 you’re going to shot and killed in self defense.

    Outside of a socitial obligation towards the betterment of humanity no there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t “Strategic[ly] killing in order to gain and not get caught.” Just don’t be surprised if someone does it to you

  90. 90 Sam
    July 30, 2008 at 18:37

    Murder is almost always never justified, the rare exclusion being extreme risk, such as imminent risk of death or grievous bodily harm, which may necessitate a defensive kill. This likely results from fear and survival instinct more than anything else.

    To take a life in any other case, with the exclusion of accidental manslaughter, is inexcusable.

  91. 91 Samip
    July 30, 2008 at 18:38

    Excuse for murder? What kind of law would that be? Killing for self defence may be all right depending upon the circumstances. But a murder is an intentional deed and my moral & common sense tells me that it should be severely admonished.

  92. 92 Roberto
    July 30, 2008 at 18:39

    killing out of fear should never be a reason to justify murder. If someone is afraid for their safety, they have other options than to kill someone, they could go to the police.
    ————————————————————————————————

    ——— How many people have been threatened, gone to the police, and been murdered any way?

    Even gotten restraining orders. Many times police just laugh, and in 3rd world backwaters you might get shaken down or slapped stupid for bothering them.

    At any rate, the header another sensationalist term. Murder a legal term and always illegal. Why can’t WHYS ask a proper question? Killing another person to protect yourself has always been considered legal except in illicit jurisdictions.

    How many millions of threats will be issued on just this day in the world? Do-gooders never do the logistics. Police would be swamped, so it’s OK to threaten.

    Leaders of states do it all the time. Create wars even.

    Real question is why homo sapiens haven’t sorted this out, instead of bragging about their big brains, scientific achievement. laws, medicine, art, ad nauseum?

  93. 93 Chad in Oregon
    July 30, 2008 at 18:39

    There are always alternatives to murder. Why couldn’t she leave instead?

  94. 94 Jennifer
    July 30, 2008 at 18:39

    I love how you’ve got a bunch of men sitting around telling an abused woman that if she killed the man that abused her and threatened to kill her and her child she would be a murderer. If WOMEN were physically capable of beating a MAN to death and RAPING HIM we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I also don’t think it’s fair for men to be deciding when a woman has be wronged. The plain scientific truth of it is that men are physical creatures, women are emotional creatures. Woman can ignore being physically abused for years. It’s the emotional abuse and the constant stress of threats against woman and their children that drive them to the edge. It’s the choice between abuse or being destitute. Women and children are the ones living in poverty all over the world mostly because of ridiculous societal structures. Frankly, the laws are patriarchal, sexist, and outdated. There isn’t enough protection for women around the world and it’s a disgrace. If laws won’t protect these women, give them the freedom to do what they need to do. They’re NOT THREATS to anyone but the people who have abused them.

  95. July 30, 2008 at 18:39

    One interesting question that has come to my mind is to wonder how many of the people here and on-air who are saying that it is never right to take another person’s life are advocates of the death penalty.

    I believe that it’s never right to take another person’s life, including by the law.

    I also believe that self defense is the one circumstance where one can justifiably choose to take another’s life. However, even then there is a choice. If I was ever in that circumstance I would face terrible repercussions of taking another’s life even if it was in self defense.

  96. 96 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:39

    @Steve

    Why on earth should I have to move away from you if you want to kill me?

    BTW I am not advocating killing anyone for any reason… just so it is clear.

  97. 97 Dan, DC, USA
    July 30, 2008 at 18:40

    I take issue with the comment that the police around the world are bound by code to intervene on cases of domestic violence. It is well-known by many victims of domestic abuse that many police forces try to downplay the extent of the violence or even refuse the veracity of the event entirely. There is no guarantee that these cases will be properly investigated. Instead of discussing whether it’s right for a woman to kill her abusive husband, there should be a discussion of opening up avenues allowing abused women to better engage the police and social services and eventually escape a potentially fatal relationship. Perhaps more women would come forward if there was the firm belief that doing so would help.

  98. 98 Anthony, MSW, LSW
    July 30, 2008 at 18:41

    I am a batterer’s treatment specialist in Pittsburgh, PA. We have a progressive and involved domestic violence and shelter program here. Yet we still struggle with a police culture that normalizes domestic violence. Even with a probable cause mandatory arrest policy, we still have situations where the perpetrator is told to “walk it off.” Often, when we do a psychological autopsy of a murder suicide (batterer kills victim and then self), we find several points of inadequate police intervention. Additionally, the comparative rate of domestic violence among male police officers is much greater than the general population.

  99. 99 John in Salem
    July 30, 2008 at 18:42

    I understand the desire to define the term “provocation”, which is rather vague, but to replace that with a term like “seriously wronged” is absurd.
    I can’t imagine a definition more subjective or open to interpretation.

  100. 100 Shaun in Halifax
    July 30, 2008 at 18:42

    @ Chicago

    Probably. My point was just to counter the ‘thou shalt not kill’ passage with something tacitly condoning it from the same book.

    And an aside to that: have you noticed that the more devout the individual is, the more they view ‘thou shalt not kill’ as negotiable? the Crusades, the Inquisition, sending your boys (and girls now too!) to martyr.

    And speaking of which: when did “blowing yourself up” become “going to martyr?”
    And when did “prisoner” become “detainee?”

  101. 101 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:45

    Let’s not forget that there are women that physically abuse husbands as well. Unfortunately, if authorities are notified, they don’t take the man seriously, and typically the man gets arrested instead of the woman, because they can’t contemplate that it’s the women beating the man, or the cops will presume he started it. Some stats I saw showed that it is pretty close to 50-50 in who instigates marital abuse.

  102. 102 Rick, Wisconsin
    July 30, 2008 at 18:45

    Does a child pedophile who has killed and raped 10 kids have the right to live? If someone takes a life they owe a life. If someone hurt my child I would bring and eye for an eye to the table.

  103. 103 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:46

    @ Selena

    “Why on earth should I have to move away from you if you want to kill me?

    BTW I am not advocating killing anyone for any reason… just so it is clear”

    Perhaps becuase you don’t want to die?

  104. 104 Helen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:46

    violence is not a schizophrenia-based action. Adrenaline, violent role models and fear are intrinsic components of violence. There are millions of violent people who are not schizophrenic.

  105. 105 Troop
    July 30, 2008 at 18:47

    Not for murder, but to I’m for killing all car jackers, rapists, burglers, armed robbers. There simply is no justification for allowing these types to go on and keep getting encouraged to become bolder and bolder. Blow them away with hand guns and save the legal system a lot of expense.

    People who beat domestic partners need to be given the door and explained any advances in the future will be interpreted as deadly threats. If they come at you simply shoot to kill.

    Authorities when given prior notification that a restraining order has been issued will clearly understand the person killed basically asked to be killed by threatening again.

  106. 106 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 18:48

    @Anthony

    I am on a government Violence Prevention Board and understand what you are saying.

    As we have seen with some comments on this blog, domestic violence is still not well understood in our society.

  107. July 30, 2008 at 18:50

    Self defence in a kill or be killed situation, warrants the taking of another’s life.

    There are very evil people and they either are taught or learn to not get caught. That leaves the victim hoping for legal justified situations to come about concerning the burden of proof. Civil law gives the criminal the opportunity to flee prosecution. As far as we know they have killed people.

    There are those whom have the ability to subvert the truth and easily orchestrate individuals and events to come about in which the victim to made out the be the criminal and not the predator.

    To actually put ourself in another being and know the event, still would not justify the decision making process of another. They may allow themselves to killed, not being aware of the world they live in.

    I have seen individuals succumbed and mesmerized to the taking of their own life. There are those individuals whom abuse weak minds in such ways and that is murder.

    There is another event that happens over and over throughout history. The demonization of nations, communities, fraternities, religions, occupations and individuals whom may well have knowledge about the world that the censorship and freedom of information in a closed society is not aware of. For as it stands power makes wrongs right, in this fashion crimes are justified. Fearfully the ignorant, naive, violent and insane take turns ruling the world.

  108. 108 Marie
    July 30, 2008 at 18:50

    @ steve

    As a woman who was arrested for DEFENDING herself against an abusive husband by a misogynist cop who took his fellow man’s word, I can tell you your evaluation is crap. The idiotic cops gave domestic violence information to my abusive, drunken husband. Fortunately, prosecutors in the US are more intelligent than our police and could clearly see that I was an abused person defending myself and no charges were ever filed against me.

  109. 109 Keith
    July 30, 2008 at 18:50

    The proposed law in Britain has a horrible flaw, other than the obvious. It allows an individual to judge another person arbitrary of any law. One can define “being wronged” in many ways.

  110. 110 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Anthony

    There is a very good reason not to kill someone and take their $200,000. Because it will become the norm and as soon as you have the $200,000, someone is going to kill you. Eventually, there is one guy left with $200,000, and no place to spend it because everyone else is dead. Think of your favorite gang movie. How well does it turn out for the guy who steals? That’s not successful evolution if you ask me.

  111. 111 Anne, Canada
    July 30, 2008 at 18:52

    Steve,
    don’t sit there and tell Charlotte to just leave her abusive situation. She has been abused for year and is petrified. You don’t know the full situation of her story. You are a man and presuably you are phyiscally strong enough to hit back and defend yourself. DON’T tell her or any other women in her situation to just leave if she want to be treated like an adult. And what exactly do you know about South Africa or how big the country is. Get over there and see for yourself.

  112. 112 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Dan, DC, USA

    Thank you for posting your argument. I completely agree. There are far too many cases of domestic violence where either the police do not take the case seriously, or the victims are not convinced that going to authorities would help. I would imagine that for some domestic violence victims, it would be easier to entertain the thought either doing nothing or physically harming the abuser (NOT that I condone the latter; the first is a personal choice). It is no secret that once something is brought to the attention of the police, that the wheels of justice turn incredibly slowly. If you add in the complications of the court systems, cases can be extended for months, even years. I would imagine that this would make approaching the authorities undesirable because of the fear/depression associated with the issue being dragged on for an extended period of time. I think that before murder laws are changed, the discussion you mentioned we should have should happen first.

  113. 113 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Marie

    That must have been the first time in history that has happened than. You’re syaing a cop believed someone reeking of booze above you? I doubt that happens very often. I know a guy whose wife would beat him, but he was taught never to lay ahand on women, so one time it got out of hand, he calls the cops, they come over, and arrested him. I’ve read a lot about this too, and female abuse of husbands is a lot more common than people think.

  114. 114 Helen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:54

    In assisted suicide,what is stopping those people from buying a gun and taking their own life? Making it easy and painless creates one more opportunity for abuse. Honestly,if I had a gun,I doubt if I’d be here. And just as realistically,I doubt anyone would.

  115. July 30, 2008 at 18:54

    We have too many violent people in our society who endanger innocent people.

    I want all burglers, rapists, armed robbers, killed, so that they are not encouraged to keep committing these crimes against society. We spend too much money on trial and absurd arguements by perps whe claim a different story and convictions are hard to get.

    If they are killed on the spot they do not continue on and breed with others to spawn further problems.

    Kill enough bad guys and soon they get the idea there really is not much of a future in being a dangerous criminal. The Black community in America seems to pose a pretty good check and balance on their own criminal elements. Bad guys basically kill other bad guys. So their careers are short.

    The further you take corrective action away from the point of origin the less just any corrective action is. The word needs to get out. Be good, or be dead.

    Applies to terrorists as well……what the hell do we keep these things alive for and later release them to harm good people in the future.

    troop in Oregon

  116. 116 Vijay Srao
    July 30, 2008 at 18:56

    Re Domestic violence
    Last week I became aware of a wife who had been beaten by her husband(drug addict) on two consecutive days ,by chance he overdosed on prescription drugs,she decided not to take her husband to a hospital and let him die.Was it a crime?

  117. 117 Jens
    July 30, 2008 at 18:56

    Anthony,

    what about revenge killings?????? I mean I attack one tribe and who garantees me that tribe will not go after me???

    what if i am in a smaller tribe, does it makes sense for my survival to go and start a war, knowing i am getting erradicated.

    you must look at the long term goal of surviving, otherwise you just do not get your offspring to survive.

  118. 118 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 18:57

    @ steve and Marie

    Steve, you are correct. I know SOOO many men that have gotten in trouble over B.S. The man almost ALWAYS gets the raw end of the stick. My ex-wife cut my arm with a butchers knife, and if I were to hit her because of it, I would have been the one in trouble!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  119. 119 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 18:58

    @ Anthony,

    Yours and Steve’s is a good reminder that it does, indeed, go both ways.

  120. 120 Ugochi
    July 30, 2008 at 19:00

    I feel that while there may be a lot of help available to women, the question is how easy is it to get to the help. How simple it is to tell someone that the person you love is harming you? And how easy is it to get out of the house when you are being abused? I have never been abused, but there could be such a deep level of fear and pain in these women that the idea of telling someone about it seems impossible.

  121. 121 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:00

    @ Anthony

    My ex girlfriend once shoved me into the street. I was walking on the outside of her, closest to the street, and she just shoved me into the street. I had no idea that was coming. There were no cars, it was late at night, we had been drinking a bit, and we were having a good conversation. But had I don’t something like that, I would have been in jail. I never looked at her the same and found out later, how crazy she was.

  122. 122 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Anne

    Yes, she had been abused for years, that’s the problem. One episode would be enough to get a reasonable person to leave, let alone tolerate it for years and years, and the kids as well. It doesn’t sound like the actions of an “equal” when someone is getting abused, children are getting abused, but isn’t strong enough to do anything other than have the abuser killed, instead of say, LEAVING.

  123. 123 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Vijay

    “Last week I became aware of a wife who had been beaten by her husband(drug addict) on two consecutive days ,by chance he overdosed on prescription drugs,she decided not to take her husband to a hospital and let him die.Was it a crime?”

    Depending on where this was, especially if in the US, the wife would be criminally liable. The general rule is that nonfeasance (not acting) is not a criminal act unless you have a duty to act. In this case, the man, was her husband. You have a duty to your spouse, like you would your children. That she didn’t take him to the hospital would make her liable somehow. I’m not sure what exactly. It would be similar to your kid drowning in a pool and you doing nothing to help the kid. So this woman is a criminal.

  124. 124 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 19:06

    @ Steve in reference to the comment you made to Anne

    I agree, but I do think you are underestimating how very paralyzing fear can be in these situations.

  125. 125 Anthony
    July 30, 2008 at 19:07

    @ NICK and Jens

    I’m not relaying the essence of my questions, so:

    If you could kill a stranger for $10,000,000, and make it look like an accident, and NEVER get caught, would you kill them?

    And please don’t say “well, that’s silly and would never happen”, yes, I know, it’s a hypothetical, but it will help me understand.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  126. July 30, 2008 at 19:09

    Self defence in a kill or be killed situation, warrants the taking of another’s life.

    There are very evil people and they either are taught or learn to not get caught. That leaves the victim hoping for legal justified situations to come about concerning the burden of proof. Civil law gives the criminal the opportunity to flee prosecution. As far as we know they have killed people.

    There are those whom have the ability to subvert the truth and easily orchestrate individuals and events to come about in which the victim is made out to be the criminal and not the predator.

    To actually put ourself in another being and know the event, still would not justify the decision making process of another. They may allow themselves to be killed, not being aware of the world they live in.

    I have seen individuals succumbed and mesmerized to the taking of their own life. There are those individuals whom abuse weak minds in such ways and that is murder.

    There are events that happen over and over throughout human history. The demonization of nations, communities, fraternities, religions, occupations and individuals whom may well have knowledge about the world that the censorship and freedom of information in a closed society is not aware of. For as it stands power makes wrongs right, in this fashion crimes are justified. Fearfully the ignorant, naive, violent and insane, take turns ruling the world.

    There events that happens over and over throughout history. The demonization of nations, communities, fraternities, religions, occupations and individuals whom may well have knowledge about the world that the censorship and freedom of information in a closed society is not aware of. For as it stands power makes wrongs right, in this fashion crimes are justified. Fearfully the ignorant, naive, violent and insane, take turns ruling the world.

  127. 127 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 19:10

    @Steve

    Looks like you have had bad experiences with women. But don’t think that every situation is the same as yours.

  128. 128 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:11

    @ Melanie

    there are more important things than paralyzing fear, such as your physical safety, mental well being, and that of your children. I’d rather be afraid and get my kids out of a bad situation than to stay in the bad situation. Gotta stop making excuses for people, because the guest not only risker her life and well being, but also that of her children, when she could have left. If she really wanted to, she could have. She chose not to, affecting herself and her kids. Was staying in the best interests of the children, which is the normal standard used in domestic law? I don’t think so. So I really don’t care how scared you are, you do what you have to do, short of killing someone, or basically admit you are a child, and want to be treated like one. This is a discussion about adults, not juveniles who killed people.

  129. July 30, 2008 at 19:15

    @Melanie Chassen, Steve,
    It is not just fear that keeps abused women from fleeing their abusers, but low self esteem. It is the feeling that what ever you do will be wrong. What you have always done was ignorant. That anything you do in the future will be as stupid and ignorant as everything you have done in the past. Chronic anxiety and hopelessness.

  130. 130 ben katoka
    July 30, 2008 at 19:17

    there’s not any excuse to murder. Actually there’s not any difference between killing one person and killing hundred and thousand of people. I’m writting from DR Congo and i know what i’m talking about.

  131. 131 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 19:20

    @Ben

    I agree with you. Killing is killing… one or many it all amounts to the same thing.

  132. 132 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 19:21

    @ Anthony

    That would never happen, but that doesn’t make it a silly question to pose. Here is why you wouldn’t do it: Assuming you got off scot free, that doesn’t mean you’re invincible from someone else doing the same to you. It sets a precedent of people killing and stealing from people. The point is, you have $10,000,000 and someone will do the same to you the instant that opportunity poses itself if they all believe this way. Next thing you know, your life is over. Is that successful evolution? Your bloodline just ended.

    Cutthroat societies like this are destined for failure. The thing that sets us apart from lions and tigers is that we see the consequences of our own actions passed the point of getting the food. It’s the same reason that we don’t eat the corn we will use for planting the next season. Eat them now, and you will starve next year.

  133. 133 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 19:21

    @Steve

    One of those days you might get it. But you are a man, so maybe not!

    🙂

  134. 134 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 19:21

    Hi WHYSers!

    Just a note before I enter the discussion, there was no email update today about the topic of discussion. I had to visit the site.

    That said, the word murder suggests the calculated and unwarranted taking of the life of another (human being). In that regard, there can never be an excuse, which suggests an acceptable set of explanations or circumstances that justifies the act of murder.

  135. 135 Lauren
    July 30, 2008 at 19:23

    I’ve noticed a few people making the argument that capital punishment is okay because it will save money…. isn’t that basically saying that money is an acceptable excuse for murder?

    And as for the point that those in abusive relationships shouldn’t receive leniency because they could have called the police or left, I have this to say- it’s never that simple.

    When a person has been physical or sexually abused, they’ve been mentally abused as well. The abuser often threatens further violence against the victim or other family (remember, the one being abused is a victim- the FIRST victim). If you feel like your safety is in jeopardy it’s not such an easy choice.

    How many people are actually incarcerated for extended periods of time for spousal abuse? A restraining order my have legal bearing but to someone who is determined to do harm, it’s just a piece of paper.

    And let’s face it, its kind of difficult to feel any hope for getting out when you’re getting the stuffing beat out of you.
    Again.
    By the same person.
    Who you live with.
    Who you at one point may have loved.
    Who you might have a family with.
    Who may have so much dominance over you that you have no friends or family to turn to, and might not be even aware of any shelters that you can go to (assuming that you live is a place where such places even exist).

  136. 136 Anne, Canada
    July 30, 2008 at 19:23

    @ Steve

    You are a man, you can defend yourself. Go to South Africa and do some research, THERE IS NO WHERE FOR A WOMAN TO GO FOR HELP.

    Thank you Melanie Chassen & portlandmike for your sensible comments

  137. 137 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 19:23

    @ Portlandmike

    Agreed. Fear is just one of the many things that keeps women from taking actions that could potentially help them.

  138. 138 Melanie Chassen
    July 30, 2008 at 19:25

    @ Steve,

    Walk a mile in a domestic abuse victim’s shoes before you make generalized comments like that. And when I say abuse I am talking about all kinds.

  139. 139 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 19:26

    Busted Selena,

    “But you are a man, so maybe not!”

    You never get to claim that men make sexist comments on here again. Haha, if Steve had said the opposite to you, we would be burying him right now because he would have died from all the attacks he received from feminists.

  140. 140 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:29

    @ Melanie

    The victim should never have walked a mile in the first place. They should have left after one step. Are you saying that they can’t make adult, rational, reasonable decisions like everyone else? That they are some sort of underclass that needs special protection? Are you saying they aren’t equal, and hence possibly might need legislation to allow them to kill a spouse rather than do other things that don’t involve killing, such as leaving? It’s like you are treating this women like they are little children, when they are in fact adults.

  141. 141 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 19:29

    though, I am not a lawyer, I am not sure whether the word “murder” applies in instances where the taking of the life of another is warranted, such as self defense; or where states have arrogated unto themselves the ‘right’ to take the lives of its citizens, in the interests of justice. In those instances different words are used to reference the nature of the act.

    Still, these all point to the question of: how is human life valued in society, currently? Are laws, by selves, sufficient in ensuring such values?

  142. 142 selena
    July 30, 2008 at 19:30

    @Anthony

    Name me one religion that does not practice survival of the fittest? For fittest, substitute “the chosen”.

    Sorry I was not more clear. I tend to be ironic at times. 🙂

  143. 143 Jens
    July 30, 2008 at 19:31

    Anthony,

    two points to this.

    1) now that i have the 10 million i will become the target.

    2) i have worked all my life in science to help mankind and i am a ski patrol volunter. do you seriously think i would compromise my values for a meer 10 million bucks. i mean i amw orking in a ok but not exuberantly well paid job and save lives for free on my weekends.

    get it

  144. 144 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 19:31

    @Steve

    Why would a man even stay in a relationship if his wife was beating him. It sounds absurb.

  145. 145 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 19:32

    @ Anne

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/566160.stm

    They have laws and shelters. Anyways, the law in quesiton is about the UK, not South Africa. Are you suggesting there’s no place for a battered woman to go in the UK so she should instead kill her abuser rather than leave? Please… The show should have focused on the UK, and how it’s completely unjustified to provide such a defense when in the UK, there’s obviously lots of ways for women to get out of abusive relationships, evne if the case in S.A. is really bad.

  146. 146 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 19:37

    @ Steve,

    I think that inasmuch as your points about women and their place in society vis-a-vis the laws may be valid on this issue. They are mostly theoretical and do not seem to recognise the fact that women in many societies are at a distinct disadvantage as compared to men. This also applies in the case of so-called “minorities”, as the laws are usually written by and in a spirit of privilege, usually from a man’s perspective. There is a general presupposition that the conditions of all peoples are the same. Your comments regarding “…rational, reasonable decisions like everyone else…” bear this out. They suggest that we are all the same and that by virtue of this sameness all of us have a singleminded appreciation of your meaning. Perhaps a clarification (?) may be in order?

  147. July 30, 2008 at 19:41

    I’ve just listened to the program about whether or not murder is justifiable. Interestingly, the program did not focus on home invasion (so much in the news because of the case in Texas), but turned solidly to the response of a number of women victims of domestic abuse. During this discussion, one of the speakers suggested that murder is never justified because, at least in Western countries, there are adequate legal protections for women (restraining orders) who are victims of domestic violence. In the US, this is by no means even across the board, dependent largely on activist women’s groups locally. The FBI keeps statistics on murders of women in the US, the overwhelming majority of which are victims of current and past hubands/boyfriends/partners. So very clearly this protection is not perfect, although again, absolutely critical.

    One dimension that wasn’t addressed was the very real psychological barriers to taking the private hell of domestic violence public. I always feel that in the discussion of abuse, those who have no direct experience with the phenomenon assume a certain income, education, etc. Profiling, if you will. But the women I personally know who have been victims are highly educated, with good careers and their own source of income. A powerful barrier to their going public is in fact their own backgrounds and social milieu. They feel they should have KNOWN better than to get involved with a batterer. Unfortunately, batterers do not tell you on the first date that they will punch you when you are pregnant. To my sisters out there, who among us contact the ex to find out why our partner’s previous marriage didn’t last??

    These complex emotions of horror/self-recrimination/shame that victims feel when a once loved/trusted person exhibits abusive behaviour loom largely for those who probably should seek legal protection. Murder is certainly not the solution. Zero tolerance of abuse or abusive behaviour in our families and communities, plus raising self-confident girls who will not tolerate even the whiff of abuse, are key to prevention. Once it gets to the courts or the morgue, it is too late.

  148. 148 Diane, Portland, OR
    July 30, 2008 at 19:41

    For the first time in my life, I am wondering if capital punishment might be justified.

    A few weeks ago, Israel exchanged live killers for dead soldiers.
    The killers were apprehended after murdering civilians, including children.
    The soldiers were apprehended while on patrol on the Israeli side of the border.

    Last night, I watched a documentary about suicide bombers.
    Every young man and young woman interviewed stated unequivocally that he or she believes entirely that murder in the cause of advancing fundamentalist Islam is not only justifiable, it’s sanctioned by Allah; that they are unhappy that their missions were unsuccessful; that they find prospects of paradise at it has been portrayed to them (72 virgins, et al) infinitely more attractive than life on earth; and that they fully intend to volunteer to wear explosive belts when the opportunity presents itself (e.g. when they are release as the Jihadists were released at the Lebanese border earlier this month).

    It occured to me while watching one after another of these testimonies that perhaps detained suicide bombers are a class of individuals for whom capital punishment is approppriate – both to provide them with the paradise they seek and to save the lives of Israeli [and Western] civilians.

  149. 149 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 19:42

    @Steve

    There are cases even here in the US where a women leaves but the man finds her an eventually kills her. Just because you leave someone does not mean that anything will change. The man could hunt you down. Granted there are women that abuse their husbands but I believe the man allows that to happen because there is no way I am powerful enough to abuse a man. For either gender, if you have signs of abuse get out, but I guess some people like abusive behavior and don’t realize it until it is too late.

    I know women who like the fact that their significant others are jealous because it proves the person loves them. I think it is a load of crap. I have dealt with one jealous person and he was so annoying.

  150. 150 Werner in Oregon
    July 30, 2008 at 19:42

    There are many situations where “murder” is justified. You have mentioned self-defense, but it is also justifiable if one’s family member or members are threatened with serious harm which could result in death. Intentional killing is justifiable when one sees that an individual, e.g., a suicide bomber, is going to kill a large number of people. There are other times that I believe it is justifiable such as execution of serial killers.

    The problem with humans is that they think they are special over all other life forms on earth. They justify it by saying they were created specially by a God. Then they kill anthropoid apes which can be as intelligent as a young child in human terms. And many think little of killing animals for sport (not food)

    Only when humans recognize they are simply a part of the whole spectrum of life will we stop thinking of ourselves as special, and only kill when necessary, such as for food to stay alive.

  151. 151 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 19:44

    And that is not to suggest that values of rationality and reason escape me. Rather, it is to make the point that someone alluded to above that violence is also psychological, especially in a context where there are not always visible examples of what to do when relationships become violent. That is not to suggest that murder is allowed, or that women or men are to accept less than their worths by remaining in abusive relationships. Much to the contrary!

    There is need for greater understanding of how our differences can sometimes separate us in a real sense. Regardless of how we preach equality, until we are prepared to see people as just that people who can make mistakes which sometimes seem so obvious to us, then the complexity of issues like Intimate Partner Violence is often missed.

  152. 152 Alfred in Oregon
    July 30, 2008 at 19:44

    There are many situations where “murder” is justified. You have mentioned self-defense, but it is also justifiable if one’s family member or members are threatened with serious harm which could result in death. Intentional killing is justifiable when one sees that an individual, e.g., a suicide bomber, is going to kill a large number of people. There are other times that I believe it is justifiable such as execution of serial killers.

    The problem with humans is that they think they are special over all other life forms on earth. They justify it by saying they were created specially by a God. Then they kill anthropoid apes which can be as intelligent as a young child in human terms. And many think little of killing animals for sport (not food)

    Only when humans recognize they are simply a part of the whole spectrum of life will we stop thinking of ourselves as special, and only kill when necessary, such as for food to stay alive.
     

  153. 153 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 30, 2008 at 19:45

    @Werner

    I completely agree with you.

  154. 154 Mason, Park City, Utah
    July 30, 2008 at 19:45

    I find it interesting that so many Americans are calling in saying that there is almost no reason to kill, yet they continually support government sanctioned murder in our aggressive foreign policy
     

  155. 155 James
    July 30, 2008 at 19:46

    It can happen when you are on self defense for murder.If a guy comes wanting to kill me and he got a knife I’ve got to try defend myself even if it accidental murder.

  156. 156 Lee
    July 30, 2008 at 19:47

    Self defense in a kill or be killed situation, warrants the taking of another’s life.

    There are very evil people and they either are taught or learn to not get caught. That leaves the victim hoping for legal justified situations to come about concerning the burden of proof. Civil law gives the criminal the opportunity to flee prosecution. As far as we know they have killed people.

    There are those whom have the ability to subvert the truth and easily orchestrate individuals and events to come about in which the victim is made out to be the criminal and not the predator.

    To actually put ourself in another being and know the event, still would not justify the decision making process of another. They may allow themselves to be killed, not being aware of the world they live in.

    I have seen individuals succumbed and mesmerized to the taking of their own life. There are those individuals whom abuse weak minds in such ways and that is murder.

    There are events that happen over and over throughout history. The demonetization of nations, communities, fraternities, religions, occupations and individuals whom may well have knowledge about the world that the censorship and freedom of information in a closed society is not aware of. For as it stands power makes wrongs right, in this fashion crimes are justified. Fearfully the ignorant, naive, violent and insane, take turns ruling the world.

  157. 157 Dennis
    July 30, 2008 at 19:48

    NO, there is never an excuse for murder…

    But, there are times–when committing murder
    may need to happend! For example–for self defense.

    Dennis

  158. 158 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 19:50

    @ Werner in Oregon,

    I can only think of self defense as the only justifiable explanation of what you said above. Even in the case of a suicide bomber, the action is still self defense; that is, if such a “self” is constituted to mean more than one person. I just am not so sure when we leave outside of that domain whether murder can rationally be justified. Surely, in the interests of economic as well as social expedience, states routinely kill their citizens as well as those of other countries under the dubious rubric of “justice”. I say dubious, of course, because we know that too many people are on death row and are being sentenced to death even in the face of concocted evidence as well as any other numbers of reasons. Until we can be 100% certain, then, the death penalty is to be rigorously questioned in all instances!

  159. 159 Nick in USA
    July 30, 2008 at 19:54

    @ Angela

    “I know women who like the fact that their significant others are jealous because it proves the person loves them. I think it is a load of crap. I have dealt with one jealous person and he was so annoying.”

    I agree 100%. I dated a girl who liked to make me feel jealous. Once I realized what she was doing, I dropped her like a bad habit. To think that someone I cared about would purposely try to make me feel insecure just to make herself feel better was appalling.

  160. 160 Thomas Murray
    July 30, 2008 at 19:58

    No. Murder is never justified. However…….

    Killing someone because one thinks their live is in immanent danger is self-defense, but the threat has to be real and immediate.

    This month in Clark County, Indiana (a community just north across the river from Louisville), a female motorist shot a motorcyclist who confronted her at a traffic light about her bad driving. (Apparently, she kept cutting him off.) He survived. And she’s been charged with aggrivated battery and criminal recklessness, as he was unarmed, and shooting him was an inappropriate response to his level of threat.

    Killing in anger is “diminished capacity.” And killing for some “serious wrong” inflicted on the killer is considered a “crime of passion.” I’m not sure what charges these would incur in the states. If proven, both charges would mean serious prison time, but not the death penalty for first degree murder.

    In the ’60s, when my father served in Viet Nam, he left my mother alone in charge of the household. She had a 9 mm semi-auttomatic pistol for self-defense. And was advised by a detective that if she shot anybody outside the house, to drag him inside before she called the police.

    Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  161. 161 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 20:06

    @ Nick and Angella

    Hear! Hear! (or here, here!).

  162. July 30, 2008 at 20:25

    if it can be proven that the person own life was in danger, then he or she may be justified in self defence.

  163. 163 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    July 30, 2008 at 20:28

    Agreed, Elias! What happens when it can’t?

  164. 164 Pangolin-California
    July 31, 2008 at 04:09

    Well obviously when people like me feel pressed enough to kill another person that is a justifiable killing and not murder but when people like those people kill somebody it’s murder.

    Isn’t that everyones excuse for killing?

  165. 165 Fonjong Terence Tah
    July 31, 2008 at 09:48

    This is Fonjong Terence Tah from Cairo.The topic on the air: Is there ever an excuse for murder? The answer is simply no. No matter, the case, human life is very important. In any case, you must make a careful plan, before you fight a battle and the more good advice you get, the more likely you’re to win. Never commit murder with the intention to look for excuse.
    Many thanks, see you then.

  166. 166 Des Currie
    July 31, 2008 at 10:36

    The British nation goes offshore and helps kill a hundred thousand people and then some thoughtless British hypocrite asks if it is ever OK to kill. Seems I could be missing something here, but my suggestion is that no killer, be it nation or person, has the right to tell me not to kill, either in anger or revenge.
    Des Currie

  167. 167 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 31, 2008 at 15:06

    This particular case with them man and his girl friend is an example of someone I think should get the death penalty.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/30/sex.torture.tape.ap/index.html

  168. July 31, 2008 at 17:05

    Well, I’ve murdered people, and lots of them:

    Here is one example. In Vietnam we, (a 30 person platoon) were given orders to attack an NVA force of 300. The 300 came from an estimate of the air observer who spotted them. The air observer scrambled attack air craft. We had already had people in my platoon killed and several wounded by stepping out in the water going toward the place where the enemy was.

    The orders were to attack straight into the run in heading of the attack jets. No one wanted to do this, because we would have to walk some 400 meters in chest deep water to reach where the bad guys were straight into the bombs.

    We had a mutiny or should I say I had a mutiny on my hands. No one wanted anything to do with going out in that water to engage some 300 with only 30 Marines.

    I was the officer in charge, a second Lieutenant. My belief was that the Captain giving me the orders did not really understand our location even though I got hammered with friendly artillery from his commands and he should clearly have seen where the helicopters came in to pick up our dead and wounded.

    You cannot in good manners argue over a radio in front of the entire world and diobey direct orders in combat….it is not done!!! Yet the orders were clearly, “I want you to attack on line right where the bombs are going right now, understand”

    Clear as a bell the orders were, yet if I brought my whole platoon out into that danger area knowing full well the situation and we are all killed the question would always have been why did that Lieutenant bring his whole platoon out into that danger area. Forgotten forever would be the orders for us to do that. That is war.

    Anyway we attacked and clashed immediately into the 300.. They did not know how many of us there were only we must have been many. We killed 11 originally. Wounded a very impressive enemy officer who conducted himself with great bearing and dignaty. I stopped the route as we were firing and shooting in thick brush and the fire was slipping by ourselves with great certainty we would be accidently killing each other in the think brush.

    So then after we evacuated the brave enemy officer we continued on into the enemy base camp. There were a lot of people under us and waiting for us.

    We ended up in their fields of fire, but they were not good at opening up their hatches and then getting their weapons out fast enough so we killed some and rushed up and put explosives down the spider holes and the force blew open other hatches. On one such event two young soldiers, perhaps 16 years old camp out and we captured them.

    I did not know what to do with them so called the company interpreter with the Captain in a distant location and told him to tell the prisoners to take us to their leader.

    Surprizingly they bring us to a bunker and start yelling down into it. The interpreter can hear both exchanges in Vietnamese. This is the Battalion Commander of the entire unit. He refuses to come out and then a lot more hatches open and my people are getting shot at.

    We throw gas down, but cannot convince the Bn. Cmdr to surrender. I do not want to kill this man. He is a brave and good Commander, So to prevent my people from getting hurt I finally decide to blow the bunker and kill him in order to deal with the rest of the 300 coming out of the ground all around us.

    I murdered him, and his entire staff in the bunker. Nothing fair about the fight. It was murder not a straight defensive situation.

    War is not ever like in the movies. I live with hundreds of these memories now some 40 years later.

    troop in Oregon

  169. 169 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 31, 2008 at 19:12

    Taking away life from an humanbeing for any reason may be considered wild, unhuman. immoral & criminal behaviour living in a society.
    Most Government’s hang some one at the name of justice may be understand worst human governing behaviour & may please be considered official crime.
    Infact most of the crimes occure because of Wealth, Sex & land, as most of the criminal’s directly & indirectly have emotional affiliation & suffering’s, under this emotional / sentimental sitution most of the time victom’s & criminal’s lost there controll over brain & start thinking under emotional situation, this temporary emotional condition need psysocilogocal treatment & may be seperated from common society by way of spending some time in the jail.
    in my openion moral structure of culture, society & unsatisfactory justice along with over governance give a birth to criminal society.

  170. 170 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 01:29

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/25/earlyshow/leisure/celebspot/main4207517.shtml?source=RSSattr=U.S._4207517

    Update on Lorena Bobbitt. I think it’s relevant to this discussion. She was found not guilty due to “temporary insanity” when she cut off her husband’s genitals.

  171. 171 jamily5
    August 1, 2008 at 21:09

    Insanity please rarely work.
    The TV dramas like to portray these things as common, but they are not.
    Usually, in a regular insanity defense, it is the hearing of voices and such… … paranoyed schizophrenia with psychotic episodes.
    But, in temporary insanity, the defense must prove that the person was totally detached from themselves that they had no knowledge of what they were doing.
    This would mean that they could not act rationally and not act on knowledge of previous events or in response to them.
    So, any covering up of the homicide would be contrary to the “temporary insane defense.”
    And, Helen:
    To add to your comments, There are many – most schizophrenics who are not murderers.
    Neither is a necessary or sufficient condition of the other. Actually, there is no correlation between the two.
    Most schizophrenics are more harmful to themselves than they are to others.

    @Selina,
    Agree with your assessment of the many who do not understand how encompassing abuse is for a human sufferer .
    Yet, I also abhore killing, of any type:
    Yes, that includes capital punishment.

  172. 172 Emile Barre
    August 3, 2008 at 14:29

    As long as there are wars, murder will always have its justifiers of one stripe or another.

  173. 173 peter mose
    August 4, 2008 at 08:35

    murder a dodgy word
    allo

    the word murder to me would indicate premedetation ,= if someone upset me for whatever reason and i decide to kill them from that point on it would be classed as premeditated murder,

    if i beat my wife up for years and she decidcides she can,t take any more ,because
    she cant get any real help, although its premeditated she would get the sympathy vote ,and end up with 2nd degree murder,

    if she decides to kill me ,she could provoke a situation knowing she would take a beating, wait till im asleep stab me then claim self defence,

    but the problem here is [ shark lawyers ] any death that is premedetated =murder
    by defernition, unless you are a lawyer , then it can be anything but !

    but i think this debate has been generated by the decision in the english courts
    bought on by the gov and yet another money saving idear,

    i think the smoke screen here is ,that in france they have [ a crime of passion ]

    this means a lot people dont do time ,or not so much,

    due to the circumstances involving female crime in the uk ,=binge/drinking /violent assaults /gangs / and robberey and murder are on the up,

    as our jails are full to the brim ,there is no more room ,
    the gov are letting prisoners out whole sale / so any long term = bad news

    so any means to relieave the system will do,/its not about justice or reform its about money.

    peter mose
    fully trackable

  174. August 4, 2008 at 11:16

    Definately,there is an excuse for murder.only if you start living the american dream like americans all politicians and their cousins in britain and nato.

    THE LAST DON
    uthiru,kenya

  175. 175 selena
    August 5, 2008 at 11:36

    I find it passing strange that people who are going to kill this man are worried that he might suffer a bit pf pain.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/04/death.penalty.fat.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

  176. 176 Angela in Washington D.C.
    August 5, 2008 at 12:36

    @Selena

    I think it is funny that the guy is big but he is not hugely obese, like some people. It is interesting that the government can execute people in the US but they must do it in a humane way.

  177. 177 selena
    August 5, 2008 at 13:01

    @Angela

    Yes, that’s what I thought.


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